Total Score: 8.3/10
After the abysmal Monteith’s Brewer’s Series American Pale Ale that tastes NOTHING like an American Pale Ale, let alone a West Coast one (which is bizarrely what they were aiming for with barely any hop character… I know right!?). Anyway we can trust Pirate Life, those (no doubt) hirsute brewers from South Australia, to deliver the goods. The last brew I reviewed of theirs (their IIPA) was pretty freaking good, so I’ve got high expectations for this one: Bring it on you parrot-owning patch-wearing leg-missing beard-growing musket-firing rum-drinking Spanish-sinking scallywags, ARRGH!
Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Hazed amber/caramel body with a fluffy off-white cappuccino foam 2 cm head that soon reduces to an odd layer of soap-like bubbles on top – whatever this brew is doing I can tell it’s going to be a real hop bomb, hot damn! 8/10.
S: A papaya tropical character mingles with floral and stone fruit notes – big on hops, excellent *rubs hands together* hint of juicy fruit chewing gum, and a caramel malt base that knows exactly what it should be doing (i.e. letting the hops be awesome). It actually reminds me of Green Beacon’s Windjammer IPA so far, which is a superlative brew. 9/10.
T: Flavours are a touch more restrained than Windjammer, but overall notes of tropical fruit/stone fruit/juicy fruit and cannabis resin character in the finish. All this leads into drying medium bitterness. Grapefruit aftertaste, not bad, not bad at all Pirate Life. Side by side Windjammer offers better flavours IMO, but this nonetheless a tasty Pale Ale. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a smooth, dense carbonation – right where you want it to be. 9/10.
D: A solid offing from Pirate Life, which complements their IIPA and proves them as a force to be reckoned with in the international craft brewing stakes, bravo Pirate Life! Any downsides? Well again, Green Beacon Windjammer if I had the luxury to choose over this Pale Ale (which I fortunately do living in glorious Queensland) is the brew I would go with – it’s tastier, and it has a better balance (more towards the sweeter side but I’ve been getting into sweeter East Coast Pale Ales lately anyway). Overall solid effort again Pirate Life. 8/10.
Food match: Thai? Vietnamese? Cambodian? Take your pick!